Top Conservative wants user fees for health care



    Another Conservative candidate wants public medicare scrapped

    TORONTO, Sept. 16 /CNW/ - Deputy Premier George Smitherman says families
and seniors would be at risk of losing access to free health care under a
John Tory government following two separate threats to public medicare made
this week by a top Conservative caucus member and a high profile candidate.
    Frank Klees told an audience at the Aurora Chamber of Commerce candidate
debate this week that Ontarians should have to pay a user fee every time they
go to a doctor or an emergency room. Klees, a former Conservative cabinet
minister and leadership candidate, has also taken credit as the mastermind of
John Tory's questionable private school scheme.
    "Frank Klees is proposing an illegal measure that would hurt families and
seniors who depend on free health care most," said Smitherman at a press
conference held outside the emergency room at St. Michael's Hospital.
    Charging someone a fee to get in to the doctor's office or emergency room
is illegal under the Canada Health Act.
    "This proves that Conservatives have an agenda: their end goal has always
been to gut public health care," said Smitherman. "The idea of asking someone
for their credit card before they receive emergency care is repugnant. It
punishes the sick and would harm seniors on fixed incomes."
    The proposed Tory "Klees Fees" are just the latest attack on public
medicare from Conservatives.
    High profile Conservative candidate Randy Hillier
(Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington) wrote in the Kingston Whig Standard
that health care was better before public medicare and he advocates private,
corporate health care where people could buy their way to the front of the
line.
    And Conservative Leader John Tory is advocating a $3 billion cut to
public health care, just as our hospitals are recovering from 8 years of
Conservative cuts.
    "There is a pattern emerging. John Tory would undo all the progress we've
made with his reckless $3 billion cut. And the people he surrounds himself
with want to gut public medicare as we know it," said Smitherman. "This shows
what's at stake in this election."
    McGuinty Liberals have invested $142 million in emergency rooms and will
begin measuring and reducing ER wait times.




For further information:

For further information: Ben Chin, (416) 961-3800 ext. 412,
ben_chin@ontarioliberal.ca

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